Make my day, compliment me on my guitar playing…

Posted by: Daniel R. Lehrman Posted in: Danny's Favs

I’m no Susan Boyle. Not musically or as a guitar player. She is so gifted one wonders why she has not been discovered before. Do you think she had some training? The way she holds herself and uses her arms as she sings comes so naturally. It is fair to say their may be a lot more undiscovered singers, guitarists and other musicians.

People who perform at her level have put a lot of time into developing their skills, even if it is singing for your mom or practicing or playing the guitar for your dad.

"Red"-Sweet lover boy As we, Red my dog, and I took off for our second morning walk today my neighbor two doors down stopped me. He asked me if that was me making so much noise with my guitar yesterday. Franklin is a good egg, so I was not worried about being told I was too loud, in fact I turn it down about 8 P.M. in the evenings. What he said blew me away, ” wow, that’s you, really sounds good”. Boy does he know how to make a good friendship.

I think I still suck, it is the driving force behind me. I’ll be busy until I die, no-one ever gets as good as they want to be. (I hope that is not why some great players like Roy Buchanan and Danny Gatton committed suicide).

That is part of why I play the guitar, it is a constant challenge. I need to be challenged or I loose interest.

While the weather is still nice here in Florida, meaning it is not too hot yet, I play, practice whatever you call it in the garage. I just bought a used Epiphone Valve Jr. 5 watt tube amp and the matching speaker cabinet new from Musicians Friend, to use in the garage. I just don’t like dragging my Peavy Classic 30 outside and back in. Did you know almost every guitar player has a Peavy Classic 30. I guess it is an unwritten rule. I figured it out after I bought one three and a half years ago.

I’m going to give you a review of this great sounding affordable amp set-up soon. Don’t forget to use a speaker cable from the amp to the speaker cabinet. Not an instrument cable.

Back on subject. It does a soul good to hear you play well. I play for hours on end some days and at points in time I do think I’m getting pretty good at the guitar. Then this thing happens that brings me right back down to earth. I hear Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughan or some of my other favorites like Roy Buchanan and Eric Clapton on the radio and all of a sudden, click-bang-I suck again.

All that does, once I get over it, is force me to go back and grab my guitar and practice, practice practice. At least until my wife suggests to me that I turn it down. I know I’m successful when that happens!!

BTW, I switched from DR Brand guitar strings # 9 gauge to Dr Brand # 11 gauge strings. As I become more proficient at playing in the same style Stevie Ray did, I break a lot of hi-E 9 gauge strings. It is frustrating when you are in a groove, and it always happens when your grooving, not when you are tuning. To the dismay of all the naysayers that said 11′s would be to hard to bend, screw em, there is virtually no difference to me and they improve my tone. and FYI, I have not broken one yet!!

Stevie had some unorthodox methods of bending strings. That is why he used 13 to 16 gauge strings and I keep breaking 9 gauge hi E strings so often. I don’t have enough brain power to go into the specifics of it today, but most players who enjoy playing SRV music use a modified style so as not to break strings and perhaps save their finger tips some abuse. The thing is that it does not sound as rich as Stevie Ray’s stuff if you change the method. My fingers like it anyway.

I did re-setup my Voodoo-Strat for the heavier strings. I also polished the frets so much that I have to use cheap sun glasses when I play now!! Seriously, the heavier strings can change the bow of the neck. Make sure you check the relief adjustment due to strings increased tension, it may need a small tweak to bring the guitar neck relief back up to specs.. I also had to widen the string grooves in the hand carved custom bone nut for the extra width of the strings.

I wanted to thank Frankiln for making my day. I’ll walk that direction more often and make sure I leave the south side window open when I move inside to jam when it gets too hot out. As soon as I finish my GuitarPlayersCenter blog and some home chores, I am going to go put a SRV style spanking on that Voodoo-Strat. Then I’m going outside and start setting up the hand built walnut strat and carve a bone nut for it too.

4 Responses to Make my day, compliment me on my guitar playing…

  1. I bet your playing is magical and mesmerizing. Your dog is pretty dang lovable looking, too.

  2. You’re awesome, dude! While I loved Susan, I’d listen to you over her any day!

  3. Nice to have a neighbor with good taste in music! Play on player.

  4. I know you rock..I don’t care how nice a neighbor is…they will become the Antichrist if you suck at playing and they have to hear it.

    I speak from experience…I’m surrounded by the Antichrist!!

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